Mummified remains from Al-Fustat, Egypt

Mummified remains from Al-Fustat, Egypt

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mummified remains from Al-Fustat, Egypt. This mummified skull was excavated from the Al-Fustat site in Egypt. It dates from the time of the Fatimid dynasty, a caliphate of Shi'ite Muslims which was founded in 909 and ruled over a North African empire until 1171. During their rule, the Fatimids relocated the capital of Egypt from Al-Fustat to the more northern city of Cairo. These remains are well-preserved, having mummified naturally, with skin and hair of the scalp still attached to the skull. Archaeologists are performing genetic analysis on remains from this site to discover why some Fatimid mummies (like this one) have blonde hair and are apparently of Western origin.

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